Impose heavier fines on monkey feeders

I visit MacRitchie Reservoir every Saturday morning for long runs with my team. Over the course of four years, I have observed that the monkeys there have become more aggressive ("Do more to curb monkey population" by Mr Han Cheng Fong, Oct 23; and "Culling doesn't tackle root of monkey problem" by the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, last Friday).

It is common to see monkeys hanging around the cafe, compromising the safety of diners, especially young children. When the animals snatch food off the tables, the cafe staff would use spray hoses to chase them off.

My team usually eats fruits after training and monkeys have tried to attack us to obtain them.

Once, I saw a monkey in the amenities centre rummaging through a bag for food. It was tearing plastic bags and biting shampoo bottles, leaving the owner's belongings strewn all over the floor.

The monkeys have lost their fear of people and have come to expect food. They think plastic bags contain food and will not hesitate to snatch them from people.

In September last year, a woman needed 13 stitches after a monkey attacked her at MacRitchie Reservoir Park.

There is substantial evidence that the monkeys at MacRitchie Reservoir have crossed the line of safety.

Some people have called for the animals to be culled, but that is a short-term solution. Animal lovers who feed them are the prime reason why they approach humans.

Heavier fines could be imposed on those who feed monkeys. The authorities may also consider strengthening enforcement by roping in security companies to nab offenders.

Wong Shiying (Miss)

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